Nicolas Batum Has “Serious Offer” From T-Wolves

July 1 2012 at 1:52pm CDT By Luke Adams

1:52pm: Minnesota seems to be Batum's preferred non-Portland destination, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, adding that the two sides have a "great shot" at reaching a verbal agreement. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune wonders (via Twitter) if that agreement could happen today, since the T-Wolves are trying to get Batum into town for a visit.

7:42am: While the Trail Blazers were visiting restricted free agent Roy Hibbert and offering him a maximum deal, Portland's own RFA Nicolas Batum was being aggressively courted himself. According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, the Timberwolves contacted Batum and made a "serious offer" for the 23-year-old. Haynes reports that the T-Wolves' offer to Batum is in the four-year, $45-50MM range, and that the two sides will meet in Minnesota today to further discuss it.

Trail Blazers GM Larry Miller has said he expects to bring back Batum unless another team makes a "crazy" offer, and a deal that approaches $50MM could definitely qualify. Given Minnesota's cap situation, I would think the T-Wolves could only make an offer that's on the low end of the salary range Haynes reports, since the club figures to have less than $10MM in cap room this summer. Still, considering Portland's pursuit of Hibbert, the Wolves can make life difficult for the Blazers if they're able to quickly ink Batum to an offer sheet on July 11th when the moratorium ends.

According to Haynes, Batum and agent Bouna Ndiaye have also been contacted by the Hornets and Raptors, and have meetings lined up with those teams following the Minnesota trip.

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